Signpost Technology Report — April 2022

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This Technology Report covers the period from March 1, 2022 to March 27, 2022 UTC. It is republished from the Signpost on-wiki, and by extension is dual-licensed under CC BY SA 4.0 and GFDL 1.3.

Issues with attribution for restorers in Media Viewer

A screenshot of the Media Viewer interface for the file File:WDG – Wikipedia20 background Cake slim.jpg.

Media Viewer is a MediaWiki component developed by the Wikimedia Foundation to display images in an immersive multimedia experience. It was deployed as the default image viewer on the English Wikipedia on June 3, 2014, and all Wikimedia wikis on June 19, 2014. 10 days after deployment on the English Wikipedia, Adam Cuerden opened a Phabricator ticket detailing his concerns regarding attribution for restorers of images. Creator templates such as Creator:Alfons Mucha are a common way of assigning credit to images on Commons. Since the rollout, images with multiple creators of which one or more have a creator template have been found to lack proper attribution: only the first template will be displayed, which is problematic when only 1 creator has a template, or there are multiple creator templates in use. Adam Cuerden opened an Arbitration Committee case request regarding the matter on 16 January 2022, but it was closed as out-of-scope. An example of this issue can be found here. The Signpost requested a comment from the Wikimedia Foundation Legal department regarding the legal implications of a lack of attribution but received no response by publication deadline. —E

New status page for Wikimedia projects

The Wikimedia Site Reliability Engineering team announced on Diff the creation of a new status page informing the public of outages and other production issues. They hope that it will be useful for the editor community and others directly involved in the projects in the event of issues like wikis being very slow or unreachable for many users. Apart from notices of detected outages, the site generates automated graphs of 5 key metrics to performance and stability: total request volume, user-reported connectivity errors, wiki error responses, wiki response time and successful edits. This service is intended to supplement existing discussion forums such as the technical village pump, rather than replace them. The site is available at, and is hosted on Atlassian Statuspage. Interested editors can read more on Diff. —E

Desktop Improvements project nearing an end

The current look of the Desktop Improvements. The newest feature is the sticky table of contents. Screenshot taken from File:Table of contents shown on English Wikipedia 02.webm; see that page for licensing details

As we wrote in the last Technology report, the Wikimedia Foundation Web team is working on the Desktop Improvements project and the new interface, Vector 2022. They began in 2019, and now most of the work is done. This is the next report about this project. In this issue, we’re focusing on how Web has worked on these changes and how the community can work with the team.

  1. The homework: The team established what seemed to be an issue according to the existing documentation and tools. They analyzed the previous research and skins, existing gadgets, user scripts, plugins.
  2. User research: Next, in-depth in-person studies with diverse groups of participants were conducted. They looked at how users of different profiles (backgrounds, skills) interact with the interface.
  3. Community prototype testing: They built four prototypes. Each of those presented some changes recommended as a result of the research. The prototypes were shared with different communities (Wikipedias and sister projects, large and small wikis) via banners. More than 200 editors shared their thoughts on each prototype.
  4. A/B testing (and before & after tests) on early adopter wikis: They have asked or have been approached by various communities interested to use the improvements earlier. Currently, there are more than 20 such communities, and the number is growing. When introducing each change, the team only deploys it for 50% of logged-in users. After two weeks, Web checks the results of the tests. Read a blog post about what they did when one test didn’t give satisfactory results.
  5. Constant discussions with communities: they invite everyone to write on the project talk page and join monthly online meetings. The next meetings will take place on Friday, April 29 at 13:00 and 18:00 UTC.

This is how they have been working on each feature separately. Soon after the publication of this issue, the team will introduce the sticky table of contents. It is easier to reach, gain context of the page, and navigate throughout the page without needing to scroll. Next, they will move the page tools from the sidebar to the other side of the screen. After that, they will improve the overall aesthetics of the interface, and before July, everything should be ready for all readers and logged-in Vector users on the English Wikipedia. —SG

In brief

New user scripts to customise your Wikipedia experience

For further news and updates associated with user scripts, see the Scripts++ Newsletter

Bot tasks

Recently approved tasks

Bots that have been approved for operations after a successful BRFA can be found here (edit) for informational purposes. No other approval action is required for these bots. Old requests can be found in the archives.

Current requests for approval

The Bot Approvals Group recommends all community members to participate in the requests process, even if they have little to no knowledge of programming.

Bot NameStatusCreatedLast editorDate/TimeLast BAG editorDate/Time
DoggoBot 7 (T|C|B|F)Open2022-04-03, 22:49:12EpicPupper2022-04-17, 20:46:56ProcrastinatingReader2022-04-04, 13:38:56
Aidan9382-Bot (T|C|B|F)Open2022-03-23, 08:09:12Aidan93822022-04-24, 09:49:06TheSandDoctor2022-04-03, 17:23:10
ButlerBlogBot (T|C|B|F)On hold2022-03-07, 14:03:04Primefac2022-03-10, 10:29:19Primefac2022-03-10, 10:29:19
Gaelan Bot 2 (T|C|B|F)Open2022-02-07, 12:07:35TheSandDoctor2022-04-03, 17:09:13TheSandDoctor2022-04-03, 17:09:13
ZabesBot (T|C|B|F)On hold2022-01-15, 22:43:07Primefac2022-02-16, 12:39:30Primefac2022-02-16, 12:39:30
WOSlinkerBot 22 (T|C|B|F)In trial2022-03-30, 16:41:56Primefac2022-04-23, 13:20:31Primefac2022-04-23, 13:20:31
BareRefBot (T|C|B|F)Extended trial2022-01-20, 21:37:46Rlink22022-04-17, 02:38:04Primefac2022-03-28, 18:32:02
AssumptionBot (T|C|B|F)In trial2022-02-16, 11:35:09AssumeGoodWraith2022-04-10, 03:23:38Primefac2022-03-27, 12:37:16
Qwerfjkl (bot) 10 (T|C|B|F)Trial complete2022-04-16, 17:17:43Qwerfjkl2022-04-23, 21:42:35Primefac2022-04-23, 13:17:17
IndentBot (T|C|B|F)Trial complete2021-10-15, 03:20:20Primefac2022-04-23, 14:42:55Primefac2022-04-23, 14:42:55

Latest tech news

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2022 #16, #15, & #14. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.


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